In a now-archived post on the r/Subway subreddit, someone asked where he could buy the jalapeños that the chain uses on its sandwiches. "The jalapeños are always the best part of the sub for me, and I absolutely need to know what brand they are or how I can get them," he wrote.
A couple of people responded with suggestions, including asking the store manager whether he or she would sell a bag of sliced 'peños to a customer. But according to comic and YouTuber Gus Johnson, the jalapeños are literally the worst, and he's bitten into so many mid-sub pepper stems that he made an entire video about it.
In this Dateline-quality investigation into what he calls "The Great Subway Jalapeño Scandal," Johnson visits four Subway restaurants in the Los Angeles area—via A BIRD SCOOTER, no less—and buys 20 footlong subs that are all topped with jalapeños. He then takes them home to check them all for stems. ("I'm speaking about that really hard, crappy inedible part at the top of the pepper," he explains for the shut-ins).
Johnson then pulls each sandwich apart and starts countin' stems. Of the 20 subs, only one of them (!!!) was completely stem-free. (On the other end of the bullshit spectrum, one sandwich was topped with six stems.) "For all you folks at home who think I'm overreacting, first of all, I am," Johnson says. "Second of all, this is what I'm talking about though. This is literal inedible gross-ass shit."
In total, he found 53 stems on 19 sandwiches. (He says there were 50, but math is hard, especially when you're still shook from all those fucking stems.)
"How does this happen?" Johnson asks at one point in the video. According to some supposed Subway workers on Reddit, it's because the peppers are shipped to the restaurant pre-sliced. "I worked at a Subway owned by the same person that owns the one in your hometown," one user wrote on r/GusJohnson. "We recieved [sic] the jalepenos [sic] in a package that we would cut open and then put in a container for use on sandwiches. So no cutting is done by the employee."
"I work at Subway, and yeah the stems are annoying af," another commented. "When I started like 3 years ago it wasn't so bad, but now like 1/4 of the jalapeno pieces are stem pieces [...] I make sure to check for them and remove them as I make the sandwiches, but as this video shows, most people don't. [B]anana peppers, olives, jalapenos, and pickles all come pre-sliced and pre-pickled or pre-brined or whatever in bags. We do slice tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and cucumbers though."
VICE has reached out to both Subway and its reported jalapeño supplier for comment. In the meantime, keep an eye out for that "inedible gross-ass shit."
9/27/19 UPDATE: Subway provided VICE with the following statement this morning:
"We want every guest to have the best Subway experience every time they order their favorite sub. While the top portion of a jalapeño is a natural part of the pepper, some guests may not enjoy it as much so we are working on ways to address this. After all, we want to continue to make things even better for our loyal fans, including those who like to add some heat to their favorite sandwich.”